City of the Unexpected celebrated the centenary of Cardiff's beloved children's author Roald Dahl

“Want to change the world? There’s nothing to it!” 

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is a childhood favourite of mine, the inspirational words in the song “Pure Imagination” sum up the legacy Roald Dahl has left behind in his spellbinding stories.

Born and raised in Cardiff, the city celebrated what would be the author’s 100th Birthday in a marvellously fantastic weekend of unexpected events.

Drawing from his tales of magic and mystery, thousands crowded the high streets on Saturday to see James’s Giant Peach bobbing past the impressive walls of Cardiff Castle where Fantastic Mr. Fox could also be seen walking a tight rope!

It appeared anything could happen at any moment in the city centre with Umbrella dancing outside Queen’s Arcade shopping centre, banana fishing from Howell’s department store, and George’s Marvellous Medicine Machine popping up outside Cardiff Library!

The day finished with an enchanting evening outside City Hall which was illuminated with Willy Wonka inspired sweets and treats. It was here that James’s Giant Peach sailed into the night sky, along with a dazzling display of fireworks.

On Sunday I walked past Cardiff Castle’s famous animal wall twhichwas unexpectedly brought to life with interactive creatures and goblins. I was on my way to the beautiful Bute Park where a ‘Great Pyjama picnic party’ took place under the warm September sunshine.

With pillow fighting, synchronised swimming, live music from Only Kids Aloud and character appearances, it was another extraordinary day in the capital that captivated both young and old alike.

I’m sure visitors will agree, it was a wonderfully, whimsical and “absolutely bonkers” weekend of celebration, showing off not only the amazing work of this world renowned author, but also Cardiff’s youthful spirit and creativity (who could forget the brilliant ball in the wall?!)

I’m so proud to see Cardiff bringing the public together in a way only the Welsh could – full of music, colour, drama and spectacle.

 Jamie “Ed Explores” is an award nominated travel and food blogger from South Wales that loves sharing great places to eat and experience through pictures and video. Read his blog here